S.Korean main opposition party leads presidential polls after impeachment

SEOUL, -- Presidential hopefuls of South Korean main opposition party led presidential polls after the bill to impeach President Park Geun-hye was passed through the National Assembly last week, a local survey showed on Monday.

Moon Jae-in, former chairman of the biggest opposition Minjoo Party, gained 23.1 percent support last week, up 2.3 percentage points from the previous week, according to a poll of 2,517 voters from Dec. 5 to 9.

Moon, the runner-up to President Park in the 2012 presidential election, posted his highest approval scores in about six months as he strongly demanded Park immediate step down or be impeached.

He was one of latecomers among politicians in calling for Park to be impeached, but his strong campaign last week to impeach Park resulted in higher approval rating.

The impeachment motion was passed by 234 to 56 last Friday as almost half of 128 ruling Saenuri Party lawmakers voted for it.

Lee Jae-myung, mayor of Seongnam city in Gyeonggi province to the southeast of capital Seoul, maintained his meteoric rise in presidential surveys as he actively participated in candlelit vigils in an early stage to protest Park's administration.

Support for Lee of the Minjoo Party increased 1.5 percentage points to 16.2 percent last week, topping his previous high and rising for four straight weeks.

He sustained his third place among presidential hopefuls, leading presidential polls together with Moon, the longtime front-runner among opposition contenders.

Ban Ki-moon, outgoing UN secretary general, ranked second at 18.8 percent, down 0.1 percentage point from a week earlier.

Ban, career South Korean diplomat before being elected at the top UN post about 10 years ago, has not clearly declared his run for presidency, but he has been regarded as one of key presidential contenders.

His support rate turned downward since the presidential scandal erupted in October as he was known to be close to President Park and her ruling party.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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